There may be plenty of activities that you can either participate in or avoid in order to reduce your risk of developing certain health issues. Yet almost all of these are done while you are awake. What about when you are sleeping? Currently millions of Americans may be increasing their risks of developing chronic health problems such as hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes without even knowing it. This is due to a condition known as sleep apnea, a health menace that attacks you when you least expect it: while you are asleep.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Truth be told, sleep apnea does not actually allow you to get to sleep (at least not the deep rapid eye movement sleep that we all need to replenish our energies during the night). It is estimated that as many as 18 million people suffer from sleep apnea and beyond. This condition is characterized by moments of breathlessness (known as apneas) that occur when the muscles in the airway are blocked or collapse during sleep. The body’s natural processes then kick in to reopen the airway. Sleep apneas sufferers can experience more 30 apneas in an hour.
Common Signs and Symptoms
The consequence of sleep apnea is that your body rarely reaches a period of deep sleep. This is why, if you are suffering from this condition, you may experience symptoms such as:
A telltale sign of sleep apnea is consistent loud snoring. If your partner is complaining that your snoring is keeping him or her up at night, you may want to see your doctor about scheduling a sleep study. Many fear that if such a study comes back with diagnosis of sleep apnea, they will then be forced to sleep with a bulky continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. However, recent years have seen the dental industry develop less invasive yet equally effective treatments for sleep apnea.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, do not make the mistake of thinking that your only treatment option is to strap on an awkward, uncomfortable mask night after night. A simple dental device crafted by Dr. Breiterman can help both you and your partner get back to enjoying relaxing, rejuvenating sleep once again. To discuss our sleep apnea treatment options, contact us here at Advanced Dental Techniques right away.